email signatures – either you need one or it’s too big or…

…or of course it maybe perfect in which case we commend you!

Disclaimer: People who are sensitive about their really long, boring, meaningless email signatures probably shouldn’t read on. Just joking! You should definitely read on….  

If you haven’t got one…

Well you need one. Now. Especially when communicating with a new client or a person providing a service to you. Admittedly people should perhaps add your very important contact details to their phone the instant they receive their first email from you but mostly likely they won’t. Or perhaps they use a landline for calls. After a week of correspondence if they still have to search for your first email to get a hold of a phone number for you well you might wonder why they’re a bit techy when they finally get on to you. You might say that they need to get organised and add it to their address collecting software. Or maybe you could make it really easy for them to pick up the phone to you and create an email signature.

If you have got one…

Just have a wee check there in your email client. Does it all fit in a few neat lines or do you adjust your screen resolution and scroll down to read it. If so then it is too big. Waaay too big. Unless you are a lawyer and have written your own personal disclaimer nonsense that you want to proudly display like a new blog post get rid of all the shite at the bottom of your email signature. No one reads it and most definitely no one wants to see it at the end of every single email from you. Do you even know what it means?? It’s not just us who think this – brainy, accomplished people from the Economist have commented on the email signature “yada-yada” being quite meaningless.

What should be in your email signtuare…

It should be neat and tidy like a business card and take up minimal room. It should include…

  • Your Full Name
  • Your mobile and phone number
  • Website or latest blog post
  • Your company address (fit it on one line please)

It might include…

  • Something about your social connections – Skype, Twitter, Facebook etc. Logos not necessary.
  • Your company reg number
  • One line of news. One line!
  • Your logo.

Creatives types can get away with…

  • a small picture of themselves. “Small” being the operative word.
  • a small, well designed banner promoting something. I highlight the use of the word “small” again here.

Always always always check to make sure that any images you include are tiny in file size AND actually appears. This means that you will need to check it on someone elses computer and/or outside the office. ie. send it to a friend. If you have a big old file broken at the bottom of your signature it looks unprofessional and it’s been like that for a year it looks a bit silly. If in doubt leave the logo off.

Fancy shmanshy or plain text?

I would probably advise a small amount of fanciness in the form of html (i.e. formatting like bold or sizing of text) to make the signature neater and unobtrusive. See the beautiful example of my own email signature. Or for inspiration see Maryrose’s wonderous example of an image heavy but tight piece of work…

Image heavy but perfectly executed

Image heavy but perfectly executed

When should you use your email signature?

ALL THE TIME. Even if you are emailing your best friend. It is a great way to promote yourself and business and remind people of the different ways to connect with you. After two years of constant emailing maybe one of your clients will visit your Facebook page and become a fan. Or visit your blog post and decide that they like your style and should award you a zillion dollar contract. It happens.

If you are replying within the same email conversation or thread it’s ok to leave it off if you included it in the first email although most email clients are now smart enough that they often minimise a signature in the email replies.

Now I feel a little calmer having put forth these words of wisdom on the email signature. I am offering a weeks worth of free phone advise to anyone who needs to create or recreate their own email signature. CALL ME!! I will help you! And together we can make a better world through better email signatures!

I'm not afraid to boast that this is an example of a plain but good email signature

I'm not afraid to say that this is an example of a good email signature

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